Interview with Big Eyes’ Kait Eldridge at Modern Vinyl

kait-eldridge
In the six years since the release of their demo 7″, Big Eyes has gone from being a scrappy pop-punk band to being an act whose music really reflects the Cheap Trick song from which they take their name. With the release of their third LP, Stake My Claim, the former trio — now quartet — returns to Don Giovanni Records, and owes just as much to classic rock as it does the punk scene from which the band first came. Hearing the opening dual guitars on the title track, one’s instantly hooked. And while even the band’s first single had songs like “You Ain’t the Only One” aiming for the back of the clubs, Stake My Claim has cuts like “Cheerleader” that blast clear to the rafters of an arena. “Leave This Town” sees frontwoman Kait Eldridge’s voice the clearest and strongest it’s ever been, and if album closer “Alls I Know” doesn’t leave you wanting more, you’re probably dead inside.
Read the full interview at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/20/16

Big Eyes’ Kate Eldridge on their new album, “Almost Famous”

big eyes band header We've been big backers of Big Eyes for a good long while, going back to their debut 7-inch on Evil Weevil. Since they first released that collection of demos, the garage-pop trio has toured the country, released a slew of amazing split releases, and are now getting ready to release their second full-length LP on Grave Mistake Records, entitled Almost Famous. Frontwoman and guitarist Kate Eldridge spoke with us via e-mail about the new LP, touring, and more. BigEyes_AlmostFamous_4pOutThe new album, Almost Famous, is different from your debut, Hard Life, in that it's all previously-unreleased material, aside from "Half the Time." Was Hard Life re-recorded versions of prior singles for a reason? Hard Life had two songs from a limited edition single ("Why Can't I" and "Your Lies"), which was released as a teaser for the LP. The album also featured one song off our demo, "Since You Left." Almost Famous has a song from the demo as well, "You Aint The Only One Who's Lonely" as well as 2 songs from 2 different splits we did earlier this year, "Losing Touch" off our split with Mean Jeans (on Dirtnap Records) and "Half the Time" off our split with Audacity (on Volar Records). Before you released Almost Famous, you re-released your first 7-inch, which was a demo. Was the idea to show people how far you've come in such a short amount of time? We didn't really think it out too much, that record just hasn't been available in over a year and we finally got around to getting it repressed. Thanks for the compliment though, I never thought about it like that. :) BigEyes_Posed02What jumped out to me on first listen to Almost Famous was that your guitar tone seemed to be much thicker than before. Is this from a change in production, or equipment? Both. About a year ago I started using an SG as my main guitar instead of my Mustang. I also use a Marshall 4x12 cab now instead of the Fender 2x12 I used to use. We also put more effort and time into recording Almost Famous. I'm way happier with how the new LP came out. The whole record, really, just seems to be more rock 'n' roll than garage rock. It's like you took a lot musically from the likes of the New York Dolls, giving everything some heft in the low end. How do you get to a stomper like "The Sun Still Shines"? It's hard for me to pinpoint why or how my writing style changes. I've been listening to a ton of Blue Oyster Cult, Kiss and Alice Cooper in the last year or so, so I feel like the new LP has more of a hard rock edge than Hard Life. That yelped "LOSING TOUCH!" early on in "Losing Touch" is pretty emotional. Where does that emotional explosion come from? I don't want to get too in depth about it, but that song isn't about a romantic relationship like most of my other songs are. That song is about paranoia and mental illness. What prompted the move from East to West Coast (well, so much as Seattle can be considered West Coast)? I spent my whole life in NY and wanted to get a change of scenery. I first visited Seattle in 2009 and was always drawn to it, so I made the move. It's much easier to have a full time band out here. New York is too expensive. Big Eyes is now being feted by the likes of Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan. Are you inclined to dismiss so-called hipster websites, or are you glad to have the band out there in front of as many folks as possible? The more people that get to hear us, the better! You never know who is going to like your band until you put it out there for them. big eyes tourJudging by the photos on Facebook and Instagram, Big Eyes has a lot of fun on the road. It looks like the band takes advantage of touring to get out and do things, rather than living in a van. Is that the case, or are we just seeing the highlights? Big Eyes, big fun! Ha ha, we love to tour. It's not fun all the time, but definitely a lot of the time. The past tour we went on with Criminal Code was one of the funnest tours I've ever been on in my life. Great company, very stress free. When we have enough time we like to get out of the van and go swimming, check out parks, mountains, that kind of stuff. In September we went to Disneyland. Fucking ruled. While you just did a big tour with Audacity that crossed the country, then a short hop down the West Coast with Criminal Code, it seems like you've got most of your upcoming shows in Seattle. Why no big summer tour to promote the record? We are touring for 4 weeks in June, to the east coast. The dates will be announced soon. Almost Famous comes out May 14, via Grave Mistake. More information about Big Eyes can be found at their website and their Facebook.

Big Eyes, “Demo 2010” 7-inch (repress)

cover - big eyes demo repressGrave Mistake Records recently reissued Big Eyes' demo 7-inch from 2010 as part of a co-release with Evil Weevil, who originally put it out. When Alex at Grave Mistake told me that it'd been recut and repressed at a different plant, I figured this was a good time to sit down and compare the two releases. Demo 2010 (as I suppose the record is now known) has new art, new labels, and it's also cut at 45 versus 33. Everything's different, at least in terms of the physical appearance, but how does it sound? I'm one of those people who's not going to buy a record I already own just because it's got a new cover. Is it really worth getting a copy of this repress if you own the original? I'd say yes. "I'd Prefer to Be Alone" is far cleaner -- the guitars come through far better, and aren't overwhelmed by the bass as they were on the original. "Since You Left" is less a fuzzbucket bunch of instrumentation. On the original recording, it's just a wash of noise that it's only the occasional guitar lick cutting through to remind you there are seperate instruments, whereas on the repress, the various components are individually distinct, without losing that dirty aura of the garage. Seriously, you'll hear the opening to "You Ain't the Only One," and the guitar tone will knock you on your ass. It's astonishingly vibrant, compared to the muddiness of the Evil Weevil press. This is a garage pop record now, as opposed to a poppy garage record. If you slept on getting the original press -- or, really, even if you didn't -- you need this repress. You can grab in the Grave Mistake webstore.

Two new split singles coming from Big Eyes

big-eyes-splits Here's a nice bit of irony: our favorite power-pop-garage trio, Big Eyes, has two splits coming out in the coming weeks. One's a split with Orange County's Audacity, on Volar Records, due out on red and gold vinyl sometime this month. You can snag test presses from both bands on their current tour together, or pre-order it direct from the Volar Records store. Listen to Audacity's side -- which is a lovely bit of power pop entitled "Bottle It Up" -- below.
Then, either later this month or early next, they've got a split with Mean Jeans on Dirtnap. Mean Jeans' cut, "I Miss Outer Space," can be heard over at Vice's Noisey music channel. The Vice guys describe it as "a fast and driving tune with a chorus that we'll be humming all day long as we drift off into another dimension." We agree. It's not available for pre-order (or regular order, for that matter), but it's due out in "a few weeks," so says the Dirtnap Twitter feed. We mentioned irony at the outset of this post. Said irony is that while we're huge fans of Big Eyes, and doing this post to showcase their newest releases in hopes that more people will become fans ... there's no actual new music from Big Eyes in this post. Their sides aren't yet available. Go figure. However, if you really, really want to hear some new Big Eyes, Grow Radio's "The 2nd Ave. Shuffle" played their song from the Audacity split, "Half the Time," on their November 15 show. You can listen to that right here, and it's right around the 1:00:30 mark.

Expired Zithromax

cover-big-eyes-backCould Big Eyes Expired Zithromax, write a bad song if they tried. I doubt it. Their Hard Life LP was one of my favorite records of last year, and the two singles preceding it were equally stunning. Expired Zithromax japan, And now, with the "Back From the Moon" b/w "I Don't Care About Friday Night" single on Grave Mistake, they've tightened their garage pop even further.

While the a-side is stellar, and a punchier version of what we've come to expect from the now Seattle-based trio, 200mg Expired Zithromax, it's the flipside that's the real treat. "I Don't Care About Friday Night" is sunny, but tough, Expired Zithromax. Like "Back From the Moon," it has even more melody than what Big Eyes brought in the past, Expired Zithromax ebay, but it's the crooned "ooh"s that grab your attention.

Kate Eldridge is my favorite voice in music right now -- not female voice, but voice, period. Her husky, Expired Zithromax paypal, raspy tone is powerful, but with a slight quaver of vulnerability that lends an element of realism to her lyrics. You believe Eldridge when she sings about broken relationships, 30mg Expired Zithromax, but you also believe that she's going to be all right.

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Synthroid Overdose

cover-billy-raygun-lipstick-split Synthroid Overdose, Though still several months shy of celebrating its third birthday, John Wilkes Booth Records has become a solid purveyor of pop-punk. In addition to releases from the band for which he drums (Billy Raygun), David Solender has put out recordings from Blockhead and What Happened. Solender recently put out two splits: an LP from Billy Raygun and Lipstick Homicide, as well as a live cassette from Big Eyes and Rational Anthem. We e-mailed back and forth with Solender about the new releases, as well as a little of the label's history.

This is the first LP John Wilkes Booth has released. What made this worth issuing as an LP, as opposed to CD?

Well, this release began conceptually as a 7" split, Synthroid Overdose. It sort of evolved into a split LP because of everybody involved getting so excited about the whole thing. 20mg Synthroid Overdose, It ended up an LP as opposed to a CD because it was conceived as a vinyl release to begin with. Also, compared to the other bands who I've done CDs for, Billy Raygun and Lipstick Homicide are a little more well known. I toyed with doing a run of CDs as well, but since we had the mp3s online for free from day one, it seemed silly.

Synthroid Overdose, How'd the two bands get together for this split. Is there a history?

About two years ago, me and a friend Servo [Jefferson] got an apartment together. Servo is from Iowa and had heard Lipstick a bunch of times, 1000mg Synthroid Overdose. I'm in Billy Raygun and he liked us too. He pitched the idea before he'd even talked to everybody in Lipstick (as a 7"). To this day, Billy Raygun and Lipstick Homicide still haven't actually played a show together, Synthroid Overdose.

What makes JWB release albums other than Billy Raygun records?

The majority of stuff I've done is by people I know. Actually, the majority of records I've released had me on them in some way. But that aside, I put out stuff I love and think should be out there. Hopefully other people love it too.

cover-rational-big-cassette Synthroid Overdose, Case in point: you're releasing a live split cassette. Synthroid Overdose uk, How'd that come about?

I was playing drums for Rational Anthem on tour this summer (see what I mentioned about stuff involving me?) and we played a great show at Slaughterhouse Five in Dover NH with Big Eyes. My aforementioned friends do a radio show, at which they have the capability to record/broadcast bands live. Everybody was pretty stoked, so we made sure to take a recording of it. Once we got back from tour I got the chance to listen to the sets, and they sounded pretty good. That release is also a benefit for a community space we're working on opening in NH, since the house that show was at got shut down, Synthroid Overdose.

It seems that pop-punk bands have become this niche of the punk world, populated with really intense music nerds. Where do you see your band and label in this?

Generally ignored, Synthroid Overdose india, but I think the people that are into it are really into it. I know that there are a handful of people who order every one of my releases, and I get pretty excited to be made aware of that.

Why the hell are there so many New England pop-punk bands, and why are they all so damned good?

Something similar to the Midwest pop punk bands, we have a long, cold winter and we need something to do with it. Bands come out of that so we can tour warmer places. 30mg Synthroid Overdose, I am pretty excited about some of the great bands in New England right now: Awful Man, Cassanovas In Heat and The New Warden are a few to name offhand.

Download the Billy Raygun / Lipstick Homicide split LP (left click, Mediafire). You can also buy the LP for $10 from the JWB store..

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Retin A Skin Cancer Treatment

cover-big-eyes-why Retin A Skin Cancer Treatment, According to the press release that I got from their publicist, the Big Eyes Demo 7-inch we reviewed the other day is now sold out. It seems that it's still in the Evil Weevil store, but you might want to hop on that with haste, because their new single, Retin A Skin Cancer Treatment ebay, "Why Can't I" b/w "Your Lies," comes out January 18 via Don Giovanni. Retin A Skin Cancer Treatment paypal, We already mentioned all this in the review, so you might ask as to why we're mentioning it again this week. Two reasons: first, because the full-length has been pushed back until May, 500mg Retin A Skin Cancer Treatment, rather than February, as we previously reported. Retin A Skin Cancer Treatment overseas, Secondly, they've released the a-side to the new single, and you can download it below. It's fun - there are background "woo"s, 100mg Retin A Skin Cancer Treatment. It's kind of punk doo-wop. Share and enjoy.

MP3: Big Eyes, "Why Can't I".

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Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction

cover-big-eyes-demoBig Eyes
Demo
(Evil Weevil)

From the opening sounds of Big Eyes Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction, ' debut 7-inch, you know they grew up on classic rock. The band's very name hearkens back to one of Cheap Trick's best songs, and the record has that warm, 200mg Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction, big sound associated with great '70s rock albums. The opening track, "Prefer to Be Left Alone" does the seemingly impossible task of reconciling arena rock with classic punk. Really: the short, Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction uk, choppy chords meld wonderfully with epic riffs to give Big Eye an aesthetic that could easily fit in a basement show, or blasting into an arena. Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction australia, The high points in these four songs are big guitars, accompanied by a crisp and clear voice from lead singer Kate Eldridge (formerly of Cheeky). The low point, Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction. I wish the drums weren't hidden so much on this record - I get the feeling that C.J. Frederick's work on the skins is heavy enough to reach the cheap seats, 20mg Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction, but the recording's a little too poorly mixed to tell (granted, it does sound pretty fantastic for a demo). 1000mg Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction, We'll know soon enough, as the band has a single due out from Don Giovanni later this month, with a full-length coming in February.

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